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A Guide to Arts and Culture in London

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by Joanna Sopylo-Firrisa (subscribe)
Writer by passion, administrator by profession. I check what life brings and turn it into writing.
Published September 29th 2014
How to live a cultural life in London and survive
London, cultural life, events, how not to get lost
View at the Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben; picture by Joanna SF
With many cultural events taking place around London every day it's really hard to work your head around them. But with a few smart tips you may actually enjoy all of them lots more.

Exhibition after exhibition, festival after festival, all theatre plays you would like to see, all places to go, friends to meet and all those new restaurants and cafés to try out – London is the greatest city in the world. However it can be hard to decide what you really have time for - but there are ways you can actually do that. I am saying it from the point of view of someone who feels like they cannot miss anything interesting and would love to be in few different places at the same time!

1. Memberships are great way to explore one particular venue in London such as Kew Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts or Victoria & Albert Museum, or a subject, e.g. art. You can join the Royal African Society, the Royal Society of Arts or Royal Geographical Society if it's of interest. Memberships usually cost about ₤50 or more per year but when you think that only one temporary exhibition costs about ₤10, it is worth it. Memberships can include access to thematic journals, special events and you can usually bring a guest with you for free or at a reduced price. Once one membership finishes, you can start another one.

2. Choose one part of London or one subject you're interested in and explore only that place for a given period of time. I love walking on backstreets of my area, observing architecture and seeing how places are organised, what builds the community etc. Usually this way I discover interesting shops, cafes, restaurants and parks. On top of that, it makes me to feel more rooted in the place I live.

3. Be selective, because if two events you want to be part of are taking place at the same time, you'll physically have not enough time to see them both, so you'll have to choose events that you really cannot miss and those which you can catch up later with, e.g. by buying a book or watching a movie on DVD and discussing it with your friends.

4.Read Weekend Notes and you'll get best recommendations from all of us what's really worthy to see in town.

And at the end, it's not about quantity but about quality. It's better to spend hours on one exhibition and really get to know artist's works, rather than running from one place to another just to check as many places and events off your list.
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Why? Because London is full of event and you need to choose smart
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